Rare opal cameo in gold with diamonds, Austria circa 1980
A mysterious lady captivates our gaze. Gold, silver and sparkling diamonds frame a large opal in which the dazzling profile image of a girl is carved. Green, red and blue iridesce the stone, sparkles and glows and seems animated by an inner light. Cutting gems and cameos in opal is a special art. At the end of the 19th century, Wilhelm Schmidt, a German gem engraver who immigrated from Idar-Oberstein, became famous in Britain for being the first to cut portraits and mythological scenes into this special mineral. Some of his works are still kept in the Natural History Museum and the British Museum in London. His art quickly became famous, but rarely imitated due to the difficulty of cutting gems in opal. The opal presented here is in the tradition of Wilhelm Schmidt, but was created about 100 years later. Not only the depiction of the lady bears witness to this, but also, for example, the cut of the diamonds. Because a total of twelve full-cut diamonds are set into the delicate framing of gold and silver, which wonderfully accompany the opal with their fire. We date this first-class piece of jewellery to around 1980, and the hallmarks on the back prove that it was made in Austria. Tradition and progress were not opposed here - perhaps the reason why this era could look so optimistically to the future. On Schmidt's opal cameos, see Charlotte Gere/Judy Rudoe: Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria, London: British Museum Press 2010, p. 481.
We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.
You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.
Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.
We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.
If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.